Looking for some marketing tips for your horse racing club or syndicate? Read my blog for some helpful advice!
Horse racing has been badly hit as a result of lockdown. Racing was halted completely for some time back in March, and owners weren’t allowed back to racecourses until early July. Since then, racing has continued “behind closed doors”, with a small number of owners allowed to the racecourses, along with other essential staff.
Like many businesses in the racing industry, racing clubs and syndicates are struggling to attract new members. This is largely due to the restrictions on racing and social gatherings (e.g yard visits, social events, etc.). After all, who would pay for a share in a horse they’re not allowed to see?
In this blog article, I will share a few marketing tips and things to bear in mind during what is a really tough time for the industry.
Keep Your Current Members Engaged
Before you even think about trying to attract new members, make sure the existing ones are happy and engaged with your club or syndicate. There is a risk that you will lose owners because of the restrictions on racing as well as personal financial pressures, so you will need to work extra hard to maintain their loyalty.
Make sure you post regular social media updates. Show your members what the horses are getting up to, how their training is going and share any results or plans with them. It doesn’t matter if your horses aren’t entered at Aintree or Cheltenham – just a nice photo or video of them relaxing in their stable or field, having a groom or on the walker will help your members feel like they still have a connection with your club and horses.
Remember that your owners may not be able to visit the yard for a prolonged period of time due to lockdown restrictions, so it’s really important to make up for that as much as possible. Try to use photos and video, and use detailed captions. Make your owners feel included and engaged in what is going on at the yard.
If possible, try asking members to share any photos they have of the horses so you can share memories from pre-Covid. It will help to lift spirits and encourages people to think and talk about your club or syndicate. Plus, it’s a good way of generating content that you can then share on your social media.
Think About What You Can Offer
Ok, so you can’t offer the full members’ experience at the moment. Racecourses still aren’t fully open and yard visits may not be possible at the moment. However, provided owners are still allowed to the races (fingers crossed!), racing clubs and syndicates have one major appeal: They are the only way of actually getting to the races!
Make the most of this. You can appeal to committed racegoers who are fed up of having to watch everything online. Those people may well have a bit of spare cash from not going to the races and therefore may be more open to joining a racing club at the moment.
Remember to also offer exclusive members’ benefits. Try setting up a private Facebook group only for members, where you share exclusive updates, and send out regular email updates with details of upcoming race meetings.
Think About What Kind of Horse Racing Club / Syndicate You Are
Think about who your target audience is. This will vary depending on a number of factors, such as:
- Whether you are a club or syndicate
- Membership costs and other fees
- Location – where are the horses are stabled, trained and raced
- Whether your horses are racing flat, National Hunt or both
- Whether your horses are youngsters just about to start training, or already racing
- What level your horses are racing at
- How many horses you have – Is it a one-horse syndicate or a club where members have interest in multiple horses, or somewhere in-between?
- All of these things will affect how you approach your marketing – who you target, how you phrase things, which selling points you aim to get across and even things like your branding.
If you are a club offering memberships costing no more than £300 per year with no additional fees, with horses racing at the lower levels, you are better off marketing your club as a grassroots club open to anyone who wants a stepping-stone into racehorse ownership.
If, however, you are a syndicate with one horse racing at a higher level, perhaps training with a well-known trainer with a proven track record, you can target people who are in a higher income bracket, who are already well-established owners.
Keep It Real
Be honest about what you can and cannot give your members. If you know you can’t guarantee racecourse entry to everyone, don’t say otherwise! Explain how owners’ badges are being allocated. Be upfront about any extra fees that owners might be required to pay.
Honesty and transparency are really important because you need people to trust you. Be ready to answer any questions people have – don’t neglect your emails or social media inboxes!
I Am Ready to Help Horse Racing Clubs and Syndicates with their Marketing
I am an equine business marketing specialist and I’m already working with a racing club to manage their social media and SEO. I work closely with my clients to manage all aspects of their marketing, and I am always only an email or phone call away. Having been involved with horses for nearly 10 years I am very familiar with how equestrian businesses work and have a real passion for horses.
If you need someone who understands horses and the racing industry to help you manage any aspect of your marketing – social media, digital or print marketing – please book a free consultation.